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son nominated is unworthy of the place and seeks to foist upon the State of Illinois a code, something absolutely destroying our present rules of practice, this Association should nominate a good man who will stand in the breach. I believe it is due to the Association, I believe it is due to the bar of the State of Illinois, that we should appoint a miember.
MR. ZEISLER: I am convinced, Mr. Chairman, that whether the Illinois State Bar Association appoint a member of the practice commission or not, that the other four can do their work just the same. That commission has not any power to enact a law, it has only power to recommend to the next Legislature, and whether that commission consists of four members or five members, if the four will report to the next Legislature and the next Legislature will deem it wise to adopt the report of that commission consisting of only four gentlemen, their adoption of that report will take the shape of a law, so that it can make no difference as to the power of that commission and as to the life that that commission is to have, whether we do give our consent to it or not, so that by not appointing a member of that commission we simply deprive ourselves of the opportunity to influence the actions of that commission. (Applause). Now, then secondly: Yesterday afternoon when the excellent paper of Judge Gross was discussed, we differed in the discussion as to the comparative merit of code pleading or common law pleading. That question was absolutely foreign to the scope of Judge Gross' paper yesterday and that question is absolutely foreign to the discussion at the present moment. (Applause). Some gentlemen see before them all the time the ghost of a code; there is absolutely not a syllable in the act, or the resolution of the Legislature which ought to make us afraid at all that there is going to be a code proposed by that commission. What that commission is charged with doing is to revise, compile and to make suggestions for corrections in the mode of practice, and not at all as regards our system
of pleading. Now, then, we need not fear that this commission will give us a code, if, indeed, as it seems to me to be the case, a majority of the lawyers of the State of Illinois do favor a code. Next I desire to say this: There has been the point made that we ought not to appoint a member of that commission because the resolution does not provide for payment of that member by the State. I entirely agree with what Mr. Lee has said, and I state it as my conviction that there are competent men in the State of Illinois that would admirably fill the place of a member of that commission who are above any mercenary consideration in that matter, and we ought not to place ourselves upon record as believing that among the lawyers of the State of Illinois not one competent man can be found that has enough interest in his profession and enough nobleness in his make-up to consent to serve on that commission. We have for once obtained from the State Legislature the compliment that they are willing we should appoint a member of such a commission as this, charged with an important work. If we now give a slap in the face of the Legislature by refusing to appoint a member we may have great trouble for the future when that record may be brought up against us when we go before the Legislature and ask it to pass certain measures that we believe in.
MR. Moses: That is it, that is right.
MR. ZEISLER: We ought not to do anything of that sort. I really cannot understand how so much can be urged upon the ground that there is to be no compensation for the members of the commission. (Applause).
Calls for the question.
MR. FULLERTON: It has been stated on the floor here that this Association had nothing to do with the framing of this joint resolution. I find it stated at the bottom of page 3 of the report of the Committee on Law Reform that was introduced here yesterday, that this committee participated in the framing of the joint resolution creating the practice
commission. I would like to know, for my own information which of those statements is correct. It seems to me that if our committee participated in framing this joint resolution, and we now decline to appoint a member of that commission we are in danger of making ourselves ridiculous.
MR. BOND: I do not desire to make any extended remarks, but I appreciate the feeling that eternal vigilence is the price of liberty. I do not wonder at the feeling which is present in this Association, but if this question has to be met let us meet it, while the veterans are alive, when such men as Judge Thornton, whose experience of forty years is of value, when the gray-headed ones are here; let us meet and let us down it. I am opposed myself to a code practice, although I was two years under that practice. I do not believe it will be for the advantage of the State of Illinois to adopt a code practice, but let us meet the ques. tion, let us meet it fairly, let us fight it out honorably and not go to dodging it.
Calls for the question.
VICE PRESIDENT Wood: The question is on the adoption of the substitute offered by Mr. Stevens.
MR. SHERMAN: State it, please.
VICE PRESIDENT Wood: The substitute is in effect that the Association decline to make any nomination for a member of that commission, that is the effect of adopting it. As many as are in favor say aye; those opposed, no. The noes appear to have it and the substitute is lost. The question now is on the adoption of the motion of Gen. Black that Judge William L. Gross be nominated as a member of that commission.
Which motion was adopted and Judge Gross declared nominated as a member of the commission.
JUDGE Gross: I beg the indulgence of the Association for a few minutes, it is nearly time for luncheon and I will not weary you. On yesterday I did the best I could to ridicule that commission. I pointed out, as I thought with force, some
force at least, the attitude that the Legislature of Illinois proposed to put the bar in, by asking-demanding, that it take up the work of the revision of at least sixty chapters in our book of statutes, with a declaration that the men who performed that labor should receive no salary or compensation of any kind whatever. The period covered by that service extends until the meeting of the next General Assembly, eighteen months hence. I undertook to show that it was a piece of parsimony on the part of the Legislature to ask five estimable gentlemen to give up their time and devote their energies in answer, as the resolution says, to a public demand, and refuse to compensate them. I undertook to show that no self-respecting lawyer could accept such an appointment as that, who was competent and fit to fill it. Having ridiculed that resolution, having ridiculed the scheme of a commission upon a basis such as I have indicated, not moved thereto from mercenary motives, but because of the absence—not only the absence but the open denial of even slight compensation-any compensation whatever, you now have asked me after that public utterance which, if it has not already gone forth to the people of the State, will go forth to them, to accept your nomination, I say to you, Mr. President and gentlemen, you have paid me the highest honor in your power and I highly appreciate it.
MR. SHERMAN: Accept it, then.
JUDGE GROSS: Now I want to say to you, further, that I feel today just as I felt yesterday; I have not a single word to recall.
GEN. BLACK: That is right, accept it.
JUDGE GROSS: -not a word to take back; and the only motive, the only inducement that you could hold out to me to prevent me from this moment declining absolutely and unqualifiedly your honorable nomination, is one consideration which I wish to offer to you.
It is this: I know in the years past, I believe I know to-day, that this Association is unalter
ably opposed to what is called a code (applause and cries of yes) without a change in our judicial system. I sympathize with that sentiment most heartily (applause). I will knowningly, consciously, have no part nor lot in any code scheme; and if this commission, as I suggested on yesterday might be the case, is to be in favor of a code, I am not in it except for one purpose, and that is to protect this Association and the bar of the State of Illinois against one of the greatest misfortunes that could possibly be brought about. If you want me to take a place upon that commission to protect you against this apprehended misfortune (cries of yes) I will do it, but I will do it under no other circumstances.
MR. SHERMAN: Good.
It was moved and seconded that a recess be taken until 2 o'clock; which motion was carried and an adjournment taken.
The Association reconvened at 2:30 o'clock P. M.
VICE PRESIDENT Woon: The Association will come to order. Before proceeding with the program for this afternoon the Chair will recognize Mr. (apen for a report on the auditing of the report of the Secretary and Treasurer.
Report read as follows:
Your committee appointed to examine the report of Jr. James II. Matheny, Secretary and Treasurer, respectfully report they have examined the same and find it correct. They recommend it be approved.
CHARLES L. CAPEN,
Committee. MR. CAPEN: Mr. President I move that the report be accepted and the committee discharged.